With grilling season approaching, beef and pork prices soar - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

With grilling season approaching, beef and pork prices soar

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Memorial Day is less than two weeks away -- a time when the grills come out once warmer weather is here to stay.

Despite being on the heels of summer and summer holidays, beef and pork products are relatively expensive. The average consumer will notice that a rib eye, or a pound of ground beef, sitting behind the glass at the supermarket is sporting a higher price than this time last year.

Local meat managers said one reason for why beef prices are high is due to the size of cattle. Herds might be decent in numbers, but some of the individual animals are smaller in size than usual.

As for pork, industry experts attribute the higher demand for those products partially to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV). According to the National Hog Farmer, nearly 100 hogs in Iowa were infected with PEDV at the start of this year.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent report, average retail prices are as follows:
  • Beef steak: $6.70/lb
  • Pork chop: $3.80/lb
  • Bacon: $5.50/lb
Grocery and meat managers said there are a few ways in which the customer can save a dollar or two. One piece of advice is to buy in bulk; for example, managers recommend buying a pork loin as opposed to chops. They also say you can try to knock down prices by portion cutting.

According to the USDA, a pound of beef cost roughly $5.20 in May of last year.

If your mouth still isn't watering, picture this... 30 years ago, the USDA reports the average consumer walked away with a pound of beef for just a little more than $2.
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